At this point the majority of the country knows that the situation at the southern border is out of control. Those who have spoken to Border Patrol and ICE agents come back with the same information each time, they do not have the manpower or the ability to handle the situation and it just keeps getting worse.
Our nation has always had issues with the US-Mexico border, as immigration reform has been debated for years. President George W. Bush promised during his Presidency to secure the border and then pursue immigration reform, but we all know that neither happened during that time. During the Presidency of Barack Obama politicians have promised comprehensive immigration reform, some even stating that reform would start with securing the border. However, we are now halfway through 2014 and nothing has been done about the border, and the situation is getting worse. It is estimated that over 300,000 arrests have been made on the border since October 1 of 2013. It is also estimated that far more than that have successfully made it through the border crossings as there are only 21,000 border agents assigned to the southern border which spans from California to Texas, not including those who come in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida via water transports.
One of the biggest problems on the border isn’t just how many are coming in, but who exactly is coming in. The people coming in come from all walks of life, but many require food, shelter and help with medical problems. This falls on the government to house and feed these people, now causing a large situation at facilities in the southern states. There are now rumors that these people are being shipped to cities across America, some coming even as far north as Springfield, Massachusetts. We must also deal with the issue of types of people coming in. Several of the major concerns are drug traffickers, members of the gang MS-13, and jihadists looking for easy passage to the United States without being noticed. Each of these groups could cause significant problems if they enter the country illegally.
We also have the issue of unwanted border crossings. This past year, Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi accidently crossed the border into Mexico on a hunting trip. Sergeant Tahmooressi made clear to the Mexican authorities that he approached that he had crossed by accident and was hoping to get back into the United States. Instead, Mexican authorities detained Tahmooressi and have treated him poorly since, with no signs of letting the Marine go anytime soon. On top of that, just the other day, a Mexican helicopter crossed the border and fired upon US Border Patrol agents, no one was hurt and Mexico apologized, but nothing was done about the incident.
If we let this situation at the border to continue, things will only get worse. Congress cannot seem to work on a proper plan for immigration reform. So at this point, there is only one thing we can do to fix the current problem, close the border. This closure would not be permanent, but an option available to stop the influx of immigrants until a proper solution is reached. This would require President Barack Obama announcing to the world that the southern border was completely closed, and that the United States would not allow anyone to travel across the border until deals on reforms are reached. During the duration of negotiations that would involve the Latin American countries, especially Mexico, the National Guard would coordinate with ICE and Border Patrol to ensure no one crossed the border. The United States and Mexico would have to cooperate, as US forces on the border would stop those attempting to cross, and contact Mexican authorities on the other side of the border to take the immigrants back to where they came from.
Many people realize that the other countries would not cooperate so easily, so until a deal is reached the proper authorities show this cooperation, trade and foreign aid would be cut off to the respect countries. There is a rumor that a bill to cut aid to Mexico is already circulating in Congress, but this would go a step further. During the negotiations with Mexico, a deal would be reached for the release of Sergeant Tahmooressi. This would show the Mexican government and those attempting to cross our border that we mean to protect our citizens and our country, and hopefully this would discourage many illegal border crossings in the future.
I know that this is not a perfect solution to the current problem, but the government must do something to fix the current situation. Our nation cannot prosper if more and more people keep coming into our country without a proper solution. Right now we do not have a proper way of handling the situation, and people who should not be coming into the country continue to. Unfortunately, many believe that our current Congress and President Barack Obama would not have the strength to handle the situation, and it will take a new administration in a few years to provide a situation that could benefit all those involved. However, the situation does need to be handled now and it needs to be handled in a strong manner.